Malware is an abbreviated term used to describe a "malicious software" program. Malware includes things like spyware or adware programs, such as tracking cookies, which are used to monitor your surfing habits. It also includes more sinister items, such as key loggers, Trojan horses, worms, and viruses.
Spyware refers to programs that use your Internet connection to send information from your personal computer to some other computer, normally without your knowledge or permission. Most often this information is a record of your ongoing browsing habits, downloads, or it could be more personal data like your name and address or website account details.
Adware is software that is freely available for download, but differs from freeware in that adware is ad-sponsored. In many cases adware can be a type of Internet application that runs while the user is online, providing a live feed of changing advertisements, versus built-in static or limited advertising. Adware is frequently undesired software in that the advertising is often very intrusive, and sometimes targeted based on your web browsing.
Is a program that logs every keystroke you make and then sends that information, including things like passwords, bank account numbers, and credit card numbers, to whoever is spying on you.
Trojan Horses are malicious applications that purport to be other than they are. Possibly an extension to Media Player, or a new Search Utility for your browser. However Trojan horses are likely may damage your system - with many of them acting as 'Droppers' and downloading other malicious software. Once installed, they can install a "backdoor" through which to send your personal information to another computer. These days the Trojan is often used in conjunction with the spammers to use your computer as part of a BotNet along with thousands of other computers to send unsolicited emails, or further malware to grow the BotNet.
So what's fake and what's real?
So often malware applications are designed to look like the real thing., for example Windows XP AntiVirus. Can you tell what's fake and what's real? Why not try our fake or real quiz.